Rebecca requested that I share the recipe for the rhubarb and almond tart mentioned in my last post. I haven't posed a recipe on here for ages and ages, and all of a sudden I have three amazing recipes that I want to share. One is a soup, one is a pasta dish, and one is this delicious tart. It would make sense to post them in that order - starter, main course, pudding - but the sun is so bright today, and the sky so blue, and I can't think of anything more perfect right now than the idea of sitting in the sunshine in my newly tidied yard, sunglasses on, a great book to read, and a slice of cold rhubarb tart with a dollop of sour natural yoghurt. It's a shame that Daniel has already coveted the final slice; maybe this will be a test of my real life priorities?
I wanted to have a go at making my own flaky pastry. And I wanted to make something light and fresh, rather than a full-on pie. I found a recipe for a rhubarb tart which I liked, but this recipe didn't bake the tart itself, and if there's anything I like more than a fresh fruit tart, it's a baked fruit tart. So this is a combination of four recipes, altogether: two styles of rhubarb tart, and two styles of flaky pastry, all blended to create one fabulously tangy and not-at-all-sweet, crispy, bright pink rhubarb tart.
It's not an easy, whip-it-all-together-in-20-minutes sort of pudding, I must say. But for me, the joy isn't only in the eating, and the slightly intricate and methodical nature of this tart was a brilliant addition to my Saturday afternoon: I felt as if I were crafting something.
First of all, you need to prepare the pastry.
For the pastry:
4oz butter, wrapped in foil
6 oz flour
Put all of these ingredients into the freezer for about 40 minutes.
Now, time to prepare the filling!
4 indecently large sticks of rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1.5 cups water
Sprinkling of ground almonds
Handful of whole or flaked almonds
1. Chop the rhubarb into long sticks (about 7cm in length).
2. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan until it is bubbling. Then add the rhubarb and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the fruit is soft but not falling apart.
3. Drain the rhubarb in a colander. The juice can be boiled down to a syrup, which is delicious drizzled on ice cream!
40 minutes should be just about up by now, so take the pastry ingredients out of the freezer:
4. Pour the cold flour into a bowl, then grate the butter into the flour - it will look like grated cheese. The foil will stop your hands from warming the butter, but if it gets a bit soft, dip it in the flour - this will make it a bit more grate-able again!
5. Using a spoon or spatula, mix the butter and flour together to form a sort of bread-crumb mix. It should sort of look like grated cheese covered in flour...
6. One tablespoon at a time, add the water to the mixture and mix with a spoon/spatula until it starts to come together. Bit by bit it should form a ball, until you're left with one big ball of pastry. It's ok that you can see big gratings of butter in there!
7. Wrap in cling film and return to the freezer for another half hour or so.
Now prepare your main course! Or sneak spoonfulls of hot rhubarb syrup from the pan! Or phone your Mum for a quick catch up!
8. Remove the pastry from the freezer and split the ball in half. Put one half back in the freezer for a later date!
9. Roll it out on a floured surface so it's pretty thin, and big enough to put into a pie dish.
10. Gently place the pastry in the pie dish and squash it into the sides, patching up any missing pieces with extra dough. Now prick the bottom with a fork.
11. Sprinkle ground almonds over the surface of the pie, then carefully place the rhubarb sticks on top. Sprinkle with flaked almonds, or if you don't have any, crush whole almonds in a pestle and mortar and sprinkle those on instead!
12. Bake at 190c for about 35 minutes.
Inspiration mainly taken from here and here.